Hamilton’s Kyeler Burke was one of Arizona’s top offensive playmakers during the 2014 season but is shifting his focus going into 2015. If you include rushing and receiving the ball plus his work on special teams, he had over 1800 yards of total offense and 13 touchdowns which tied for the most on the team.
The work however this spring going into the 2015 season for the soon-to-be senior is being put in on the defensive side of the ball playing defensive back. An aspect of the game that he played briefly last season but has not had a ton of experience with in quite some time.
“I played defense just for one game last year in the state game,” said Burke. “It was actually the first time I played defense since the eight grade. But yeah, this spring has been mainly focused on the defensive side of the ball because I’ve known the offense since like my freshman year and I know it like the back of my hand. So, learning the new defensive technique and scheme is what I’ve been focusing on.”
“I’ll most likely be starting on both sides of the ball next season but if I need breaks, it will most likely be when on offense because I know we have a couple other guys who can the position well too,” he added. “But I will be doing a lot of both.”
Working out on defense is a focus that not only helps address depth for his team, but is also helping him in his own recruitment as he now currently holds two scholarship offers from Idaho and South Dakota State along with plenty of interest from others. All hoping to see what he can do specifically on the defensive side of the ball.
“Recruiting is starting to pick up a little bit and it’s getting a little more fun out here,” mentioned Burke. “Especially with learning the defensive side of the ball. I know some coaches like what they see early in the stages of me learning the defensive stuff, but a lot of them are going to want to wait and see film in a game situation on the defensive side of the ball.”
Burke had his breakout season in 2014 for the Huskies which included an incredible Hail Mary catch leading to a come back win over Pinnacle during the regular season and another appearance in the state championship game. It was a fun year for Burke but comes with unfinished business as a senior.
“Last year was probably one of my better years as a football player but in the end, still didn’t get the outcome we wanted,” Burke explained. “There is a lot going into this year that our team is looking for so last year was good, but this year needs to be better.”
“The last two years O’ve had some great mentors and great older guys showing me the ropes,” he added. “Now it’s crazy that I’m the older guy showing the younger guys some things so it’s fun.”